If you like relaxing by a pool, sipping on cocktails, eating delicious food, and paying low prices for it all…then a weekend in Palm Springs may be just what you’ve been looking for!
My husband, Bo, and I took a weekend away just the two of us to celebrate our 9 year anniversary. It was nothing short of incredible!
For starters, this was our first overnight together away from Austin since he was born!!! In case you’re not keeping track, that’s almost 3 years…THREE YEARS! Essentially, WAY too long. (Don’t wait that long, fellow mamas!)
Nonetheless, we finally got to enjoy a getaway weekend in Palm Springs…just the two of us!
To top it off, it was the perfect hot temperature to be floating around a pool. ALL. DAY. LONG. We were embracing full-on relaxation mode! Our weekend in Palm Springs turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.
Palm Springs is just outside of Los Angeles and only a couple hours north of San Diego. So it’s a quick trip for anyone living in Southern California. To top it off, no needed airfare makes it a perfect vacation destination that doesn’t break the bank.
The greater Palms Springs area is scattered with hotels, resorts, pools, spas, restaurants, golf, and the list goes on. You will have all the pieces for a relaxing and fun weekend in Palm Springs!
Plus, Southwest Airlines is starting to fly to Palm Springs! So the vacation destination just became easy to fly to, even if you live out of state. Score!
The desert climate obviously brings warm weather almost year-round. You can embrace your warm vacation vibes as you bask in the sun’s rays and splash in the pool water. Doesn’t that sound like perfection?
Some may say that it gets “too hot” in the summer months. It is hot, but it all depends on what you are doing.
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If you are going to lounge in a pool or lazy river all day, then the triple-digit heat will be idyllic! You never get cold, and the water feels like the perfect amount of refreshing.
Depending on the time of year, you can score killer deals on hotels and resorts in Palm Springs. The hotter months typically draw smaller crowds, so you can get even better rates.
Even outside of the hot summer months, the Palm Springs area offers some great priced accommodations. If splurging for luxury is more your style (I feel you), then there are plenty of opportunities for you to bask in luxury as well!
Where to go
There are nine cities in the Greater Palm Springs area of Coachella Valley--Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella. Numerous hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals are scattered throughout the cities.
Each city has something distinct to offer. We have not explored them all yet. When we drive up for a weekend in Palm Springs, we spend the majority of our time in either Indian Wells or Palm Springs itself.
Downtown Palm Springs is home to the good restaurants and shops in the area. You can walk through art galleries and designer clothing stores all afternoon long. Then as the sun goes down, treat yourself to a savory farm-to-table dinner.
Bo and I ate at Workshop Kitchen + Bar, and it was some of the most delicious food we have eaten in a long time! Even though we were sitting outside in triple-digit heat, we had the most incredible dinner together.
The service was great, and the food continued to wow us! We highly recommend making a dinner reservation and enjoying their seasonal dishes.
PRO Tip: Make a reservation ahead of time at downtown restaurants, as they tend to book up. Especially on the weekends, you don’t want to wait outside in the heat for an hour hoping that a table opens up.
The downtown area is fun to walk around, even if you have kids in tow. Austin and I were walking around on one of our trips, and the water fountains scattered along the downtown sidewalks quickly became his favorite attraction!
I’m not sure if he liked watching the water or just wanted to submerge himself in it to cool off. Either way--he was happy, so I was happy!
If you want to stay within walking distance of the downtown stretch, there are a number of hotels to choose from. From peaceful yoga retreats to lively modern moods, there is a wide variety of hotel style for you to choose from.
We have stayed as a family at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel. It’s a stunning hotel with modern vibes and a gorgeous panoramic view from the rooftop (pictured above). To top it off, they have one of the best restaurants in Palm Springs-- 4 Saints. Swanky style and stunning rooftop views put this delicious restaurant at the top of the list of must-eat places.
Indian Wells is surrounded by the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains. It’s a popular location for many luxury resorts covered with palm trees, high-end golf courses, and swimming pools.
We recently visited one such resort - Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. We have been here a couple of times, but with their new additions, it has quickly become one of our favorites.
In August 2020, they opened up a new section of their pool area that has two 3-story waterslides. You can race your husband, son, daughter, or a perfect stranger, and see who has the best slide speed.
For the record--I destroyed Bo. He couldn’t compete with my perfected body-slide form that sent me FLYING down. (PS...he eventually learned and started to beat me, but that’s irrelevant.)
This new space also has one of our favorite aquatic vacation features -- a lazy river!!! They have single and double tubes you can use, or you can free-float all the way around.
It’s perfect for relaxing with a cold drink in your hand as you slowly drift around. Or you can have a blast with your kids pushing them around, racing through the route, or soaking them with the spray fountains on the sides.
This is now the second lazy river in the area. The Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage has the other one.
Austin has yet to experience this fun new pool area, since it had just opened before our couple trip. But we plan on returning WITH Austin to have some family fun all together around the lazy river!
Perfect for couples + families
With everything that the Coachella Valley has to offer, it’s a perfect destination for couples or for families. You can tailor your trip toward what is best for you.
Romantic Weekend in Palm Springs for Two
Couples can enjoy romantic suites with breathtaking views, relaxing spa treatments, secluded cabanas poolside, and delicious dining experiences. There are certain resorts geared toward couples, but even many of the family-friendly resorts have adult-only pools. There are always options to be as isolated and secluded as you want.
There are also a number of outdoor adventures in the area (ie. off-roading, mountain biking, hummer tours, etc) that aren’t ideal for families. But if you and your loved one like to seek outdoor adventure, they will be perfect!
Taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of Mount San Jacinto is a favorite for the area. You can enjoy a ride in the world's largest rotating tram car. The weather is also much cooler due to the high elevation. For example, if you go in the spring or fall, don't be surprised if there is still snow at the top.
Family-Friendly Weekend in Palm Springs
Plenty of resorts are built to cater to families. They offer a variety of activities, water slides, lazy rivers, play areas, and more!
Kids will have a blast at any pool, but many resorts take pool life to the next level! They can race down water slides, build sandcastles, play water volleyball, and embrace all the aquatic fun!
When we took Austin to the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, he was almost 2 years old. He was thrilled to splash around in their kiddie pool! Eventually, he got brave enough to take a few trips down the slide (on dad’s lap of course).
My point being--the resorts have fun activities for kids of all ages to enjoy! Since it is common for SoCal families to go away for a weekend in Palm Springs, you will see kids of all ages having a blast.
While full-fledged vacations are not yet feasible for some families, a weekend in Palm Springs is the perfect mini-vacation/staycation for Southern California residents. It’s a perfect place to start making travel memories as a family again!
What are you waiting for? Go see what great deals they are offering right now, and book it! The weather is warm, and there is lots of fun to be had together, which always makes it Worth Every Trip.